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Three New ME UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Turkey

UNESCO introduced three new landmarks in the Middle East to their 2017 list of World Heritage Sites.

Since 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been recognizing landmarks and areas around the globe that have a certain cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of significance, calling them UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

This recognition puts the sites under the legal protection of international treaties since they are regarded to as important to the collective interests of humanity.

A total of 82 World Heritage Sites in West Asia have been listed by the UNESCO, 21 one of which are in Iran. Among Arab states however, Morocco tops the list with 9 designated sites, while Kuwait is the only Arab and West Asian country that doesn’t have any.

Zubarah Fort, Qatar

Qatar’s only World Heritage Site is the ancient Zubarah Fort, located on the north western coast of the country, in Madinat ash Shamal. It was designated in 2013.

As of July 2017, the complete list of sites include 1073 landmarks, and includes 3 new editions from the Middle East.

Aphrodisias (Turkey)

Aphrodisias, Turkey

Located in western Anatolia, this historical city was built by the ancient Greek and is named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. One of the city’s major landmarks was the Temple of Aphrodite, which was later on turned into Christian basilica.

Al-Khalil/Hebron Old Town (Palestine)

Al-Khalil/Hebron Old Town, Palestine

Al Khalil is the largest city in the West Bank, and the second largest city within the borders referred to as the Palestinian territories. The city dates back to the bronze age and has both cultural and religious importance to all Ibrahimic religions. As of 2016, it is home home to 215,452 Palestinians.

Historic City of Yazd (Iran)

Historic City of Yazd, Iran

Originally a Zoroastrian center during Sassanid times, Yazd served as the capital of the Muzaffarid Dynasty for a short while during the fourteenth century. The Friday mosque, the city’s greatest architectural landmark, is depicted on the of the Iranian 200 rials banknote.

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